Starting October 25 of 2011, "InfertilityMom," 39-year-old Jennifer Saake (founder of Hannah's Prayer Ministries), experienced 6 strokes, all due to vertebral dissection at a chiropractic office. The largest two strokes were brain stem and cerebellum bleeds. Jenni remained hospitalized until nearly Christmas and was not expected to live (near death experience) nor recover, but if she even survived, she was slated to live out her days in a nursing home or, best case, to maybe come home but wheelchair-bound and needing 24-hour care (please read more and watch short video). Jenni is now walking (with a cane or wheeled walker), has recovered much eye-sight, some hearing, partial use of her hands, cares for most of her own personal/toiletry needs, and is currently writing three books, maintains multiple blogs, and stays active on both Facebook and Pinterest. Near the five-year recovery mark, Jenni has renewed her pre-stroke excitement about the unique Lilla Rose hair Flexi eight jewelry she sells and has finally regained enough hand/arm function to regularly use! (The biggest ongoing losses at the 4 1/2-year point of recovery are left-side nerve pain, inability to drive, loss of homeschool teaching capability, significant sound processing issues (often triggering nausea), and some profound physical ability limitations such as a limp, balance challenges, clumsy use of right hand and only large motor function in left hand.) Here is her resume.

Since Jenni's chiropractor carried no insurance and moved out of the country soon after the accident (thus avoiding any legal or financial consequences), if you would like to help contribute to the Saake (pronounced like the two small words, say and key) family's massive financial needs (medical expenses alone are estimated to cost between $1- and $1.5- Million in Jenni's lifetime), please visit Jennifer Saake's Stroke Survivor GoFundMe Page. (This support information has been added in direct response to several reader requests.) The Saakes sincerely thank you for your prayers and if God prompts and equipts you to send any monetary assistance as well, this is a significant added blessing.

Jenni is clinging to God's grace through the entire experience. Here is her unfolding story, documented in her own words (typing with only her right hand), as she perceives it happening in real time, messy, honest and to the glory of God...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Take a Load Off

Maybe when you hear that phrase, you think of getting off your feet. I'm thinking about getting on mine!

I kept telling folks, "I thought I would be walking by now." I know of at least two doctors and a therapist who thought I would never walk again, but somehow I still felt "behind the curve" because it was taking so long.

Finally, yesterday, Rick heard me lament yet again and he told me, that a doctor had called him into the hall early in my hospitalization and told him that I would be fortunate to be walking again after two years!

Load off my mind! Somehow, the difference between "never" and medical personnel giving hope that maybe I could walk again, but it could take a very long while, no longer makes me feel so much stress, so much pressure, to prove them wrong and do so in record time. Instead of feeling anxious that my birthday is coming up next month (my own goal for walking) and I'm still far from reaching that goal, I can keep pushing forward while realizing that even if I'm not walking by the following birthday, I'm still doing better than the one best medical expectation. With that knowledge, the stress I had been putting on my own shoulders, in this area, melted away a bit.

On a related note, I tried wearing some flat sandals out to dinner last night, because I wanted something prettier with my sundress than the big bulky tennis shoes I have been wearing. When I couldn't even make it down the hall from our bedroom to the kitchen, I realized the change in footwear would never work for an hour or so, outside the house. I changed back to my tennis shoes, thankful for God's and Rick's provision of safe, supportive shoes that Rick bough me after I came home from the hospital!
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
- Philippians 1:6
A friend sent me these verses, based on my prayer request yesterday morning. Thank you for your prayers. There have been a few tears today, but I am doing better than I have the last couple of mornings:
Psalm 55:17
Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.

Psalm 59:16
But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.

Psalm 88:13
But I cry to you for help, LORD; in the morning my prayer comes before you. 

2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

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